Georgia Deer News

2015-2017 Proposed Hunting Regulations: Public Hearings Scheduled March 27, 2015 Gerogia, GDNR News
     Hunters and other interested citizens are encouraged to review proposed changes to hunting regulations for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons and make plans to attend a scheduled public hearing. [click on link above for meeting schedule].  “The purpose of hunting regulations is to manage renewable wildlife resources consistent with the scientific principles of wildlife management while meeting public objectives for wise use of these resources,” said Tina Brunjes, Operations Manager with the Game Management Section.  “At this point in the process, we are interested in public comments specific to the proposed changes under consideration.”  
     The public notice and synopsis of proposed rule changes are available on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division webpage

Two Watkinsville men charged with killing deer 8 months ago March 27, 2015 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald 
... The deer, a buck with 10-point antlers, was a common sight along the well-traveled road that motorists often take to Athens. Allen, on whose pasture the deer grazed with his cattle, had nicknamed the deer “Bucky,” because it never ran from him and seemed content spending time in the pasture...

White‐tailed deer fawn recruitment before and after experimental coyote removals in central Georgia WD Gulsby, CH Killmaster, JW Bowers, JD Kelly… - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2015
... Recent evidence from across the southeastern United States indicating high predation rates by coyotes (Canis latrans) on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns has led some managers to implement coyote control...  Fawn recruitment on Cedar Creek WMA did not differ among years during the study, and was similar to that prior to coyote arrival. The differential coyote impacts and variable effectiveness of trapping we observed on nearby sites suggest coyote control may not achieve management objectives in some areas. Furthermore, transient behavior and the potential for coyotes to adapt to control efforts likely reduce efficacy of this management action ...

Whitetails have a 90-day fat supply entering winter, so by March they may be running low, especially if winter lingers or particularly harsh weather hits late. To help bridge the gap to spring, provide more of the winter foods deer are accustomed to: natural browse. - March 9, 2015


Fox out, deer in as state mammal in House bill February 23, 2015 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution
... State lawmakers on Monday voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation naming the ubiquitous deer Georgia’s official state mammal. While House Bill 70 originally bestowed that honor to the gray fox ...

... Biologists warn that coyotes in some areas are having a devastating effect on fawns — and that has implications for future generations of the whitetail deer... “Removing/killing coyotes simply opens up territory for others to move in and occupy,” Mowry said ...

Jekyll Island Authority holds its fire on deer population February 17, 2015 Georgia, Macon Telegraph (blog)
... last year members of the Jekyll Island Authority decreed that ... the herd needed to be thinned out. The JIA had plans to shoot them... The Jekyll Island Authority has now backed off plans to bring sharpshooters on the island to thin out the herd. Instead, they say they want to study the problem some more... Government authorities are good at that kind of thing...

Project to track coyotes in three states February 7, 2015 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle
... the University of Georgia on a groundbreaking study of coyotes across Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama... Wildlife managers say there is mounting evidence that coyotes have drastically reduced deer fawn survival...

...   “Prescribed fire benefits reforestation, aesthetics and forest access. It is also the most economically feasible land management tool for maintaining wildlife habitats for many species, including bobwhite quail, eastern wild turkey, white-tailed deer, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and countless songbirds.” [Neal Edmondson, Prescribed Burn Coordinator for the Georgia Forestry Commission]

...  will hold its fire on a proposal to have sharpshooters kill deer at the state park, and instead will study whether the abundant deer population is damaging the island's maritime forests...

Jekyll Island to revisit deer policy after months of silence January 18, 2015 Georgia, News Channel 9 ·
... Many residents such as Bonnie Newell have vocally opposed killing any deer, saying it would tarnish Jekyll Island's reputation for wildlife conservation...

     Predators can exert powerful influence on their prey, independent of direct killing, by inducing antipredator responses. Coyotes (Canis latrans) have recently achieved abundances capable of influencing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population demography in the southeastern USA, but the effects of antipredator responses have not been reported ... his work provided evidence that coyotes can influence white-tailed deer space use and vigilance while foraging, and documented a negative relationship between coyote abundance and body mass of adult female deer during an 11-year period...

UGA Deer Lab to partner in coyote study January 16, 2015 Georgia, Online Athens
... Coyotes, which are not native to Georgia and southeastern states, are a likely cause of drastic reductions in the survival rates of deer fawns....

Study on Coyotes Will Provide Needed Information for Management January 15, 2015 Gerogia, GDNR News
...   A new multi-agency study, scheduled to begin in 2015, will help answer many coyote-related questions, including determining what types of resources, such as prey availability and hiding cover, are important to coyotes when establishing territories.  “We know that coyotes play a critical role in ecological communities,” says project coordinator Joseph Hinton, a University of Georgia post-doctoral researcher.  “But, they are a relatively new predator to Georgia that rapidly colonized the state... More Information: Full News Release re: Coyote Study,  Coyote Information - Georgia Wildlife Resources Division,  Coyote Study - University of Georgia

... “The deer population in the state has definitely come down,” said Don McGowan, regional operations manager for Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division, which organized the Wilkes County meeting and seven similar gatherings across the state last week.
Georgia’s deer herd peaked more than a decade ago at 1.6 million to 1.7 million animals, he said. “Today, it’s down to about 1 million –we think.”  The decline has been attributed to overhunting, liberal bag limits, longer seasons and the rapid spread of coyotes, which prey on fawns each spring...


Meetings Begin Tonight.  Your Chance to Provide Input on Georgia Hunting Regulations January 5, 2015 Gerogia, DNR News
     Hunters and other interested citizens are invited to attend any of eight upcoming public meetings regarding the development of hunting regulations for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 hunting seasons. “Public input is important and valuable,” said John Bowers, chief of the Game Management Section.  “While we currently have no proposed regulation changes, we are considering establishing a single statewide deer season and adjusting the timing of buck-only days. As always, we want to maintain simple, easy-to-follow hunting regulations that encourage hunting participation, maximize opportunity, and are biologically appropriate.”  Topics to potentially include: single statewide deer season and dates, buck-only days during the deer season and dates, deer bag limits, charging an application fee to apply for the department’s quota hunts ... Public Meeting Dates

Public meetings in 2015 will discuss whitetail deer program December 26, 2014 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle 
... “Previous survey data, public input and other information have clearly demonstrated to the department that most hunters desire a single statewide deer season. That is, one statewide deer season with a consistent closing date, which would end separate season dates for the northern and southern zone,” ...

Bobcat sighting on Jekyll Island confirmed December 25, 2014 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald 
... Remote-sensing cameras set up to help researchers count deer ... The only prior evidence that bobcats may live on Jekyll Island was a photograph from the early 1900s showing pelts hanging in the gamekeeper’s cabin...

Your Chance to Provide Input on Georgia Hunting Regulations December 23, 2014 DNR News
      Hunters and other interested citizens are invited to attend any of eight upcoming public meetings regarding the development of hunting regulations for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 hunting seasons.  “Public input is important and valuable,” said John Bowers, chief of the Game Management Section. “While we currently have no proposed regulation changes, we are considering establishing a single statewide deer season and adjusting the timing of buck-only days. As always, we want to maintain simple, easy-to-follow hunting regulations that encourage hunting participation, maximize opportunity, and are biologically appropriate.”
     Topics to potentially include: single statewide deer season and dates, buck-only days during the deer season and dates, deer bag limits, charging an application fee to apply for the department’s quota hunts, migratory bird seasons (e.g., waterfowl, doves, etc.), hunting regulations and season for Wildlife Management Areas, and any other hunting issues.  MORE INFORMATION:  Full News Release on Upcoming Public Meetings,  Public Meeting Dates,  Submitting Comments,  Georgia Hunting Regulations

DNR deer-management plan calls for maintaining herd size October 29, 2014 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald
... The state’s plan for managing Georgia’s deer population, revealed Tuesday, calls for ample hunting and habitat to hold the herd size at 1.1 million...  a peak of 1.6 million in the late 1990s ...  harvesting 400,000 to 450,000 animals yearly ... 

West Ga. parks cultivated for wildlife viewing October 19, 2014 Georgia, Associated Press
... workers last weekend planted seeds to grow deer-attracting vegetation on three acres of the bottom fields at McIntosh Reserve in the southern end of the county... We're going to put up signs in the park, identifying the wildlife viewing areas ...

Deer season opens this weekend October 16, 2014 Georgia, Forsyth News 
... A new hotline to report poachers has been set up as firearms season for deer opens Saturday:  Call (800) 241-4113 or email RangerHotline@dnr.state.ga.us to report a poacher.

Runaway deer spotted on campus October 14, 2014 Georgia, The Inkwell 
... Stranger than a deer running through campus is the fact that the animal remains at large. University police are still keeping an eye out for the deer, who was allegedly never seen leaving the building following the cafeteria fiasco... [Armstrong State University]

Research looks at deer vision October 12, 2014 Georgia, Tribune-Review
... deer see many colors, but blues the best and reds the worst. They can't differentiate shades the way humans can ...

Hunting: The season is here October 11, 2014 Georgia, Covington News
... During this time of year bucks are still traveling in bachelor groups. In the southern zone of Georgia, hunters can bait deer, but you can’t bait deer in the northern zone. Therefore, hunters rely on attractives to get deer closer. As the rut draws closer, bucks start competing for breeding rights for the does ...  the end of October/beginning of November is the peak rut ... 

Primitive Weapon Season Opens October 11th October 3, 2014 Georgia, Worth It 2U 
... Black powder rifles, and bows and arrows...  the week-long primitive weapons deer hunting season beginning Saturday, Oct. 11. Over 48,000 hunters participated in last year’s primitive weapons season, bringing in over 11,000 deer with black powder rifles...

Get ready for deer season as state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster previews the upcoming primitive weapons and firearms seasons. Primitive weapons and youth firearms season is Oct. 11-17, 2014 statewide, and firearms season is Oct. 18, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015 in the Northern Zone and Oct. 18, 2014-Jan. 15, 2015 in the Southern Zone. For more on deer hunting in Georgia, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com. September 30, 2014


Georgia Deer Forecast 2014 October, 2014 Game and Fish
... Of the 385,410 whitetails harvested in 2012-13, bucks accounted for 143,141 of the kills, and 242,268 were does... 52 percent of all Georgia deer hunters killed at least one deer... Blue Ridge Mountains:  with relatively little agriculture, the deer density is low ... Piedmont:  historically been some of the most productive deer lands in the state ... Upper Coastal Plain:  stable population ... 

EHD and Bluetongue Virus Having Minimal Impact on Deer in 2014 September 24, 2014 Georgia, outdoorhub.com
... “A small number of reports are trickling in from scattered states, but we’re not seeing any nationwide trends or large outbreaks this year,” said Dr. David Stallknecht with the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia. “This year is definitely below average so far.” ...

... We all know the whitetail population is down somewhat from a decade ago,” ... a recent blitz of challenges facing whitetails — everything from viral diseases to new predators to extreme weather patterns and sudden habitat changes — the species clearly is at a key juncture in its modern history...

... The deer-baiting proposal was again a no-show on this month’s agenda of the authority. David Egan said he suspects that the JIA is waiting until after the governor’s race ... deer-baiting is otherwise illegal on public lands ...

When is Georgia deer rut? New map now available September 18, 2014  Examiner 
... the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division recently updated the statewide rut map (www.georgiawildlife.com/rut-map) ... During the peak of the rut, a large percentage of female deer are ready to be bred and become much more active, increasing their daily movement and home range size...

Georgia data: About 1 to 1.1 million deer in 2014, estimated at 900,000 to 1 million in 2011 to 2013, down from a peak of about 1.6 to 1.7 million in the 1990's. The 2014 Deer Management plan calls for holding the herd stable at the 2014 level.  The 2005 Deer Management plan intentionally reduced the herd size. In 2013, hunters requested a shorter hunting season to support the deer population.  Coyote predation and changes in the timber industry that have impacted habitat are pushing deer numbers down. Reduced doe harvest was begun in 2013 to offset predation.   
     In 1937, the herd was estimated at about 12,500, the result of unregulated hunting.  Conservation efforts brought the population to about 220,000 by 1972.  In the early 1980's, does accounted for only about a quarter of the harvest, an effort to boost the population.  Yearly bucks were the majority of the deer taken.  Since 2002 the state has focused on balanced demographics, with the doe harvest about 60 percent of the total through 2012. 

Poacher Hotline:  The public can reach the TIP hotline by dialing 1-800-241-4113, by dialing *DNR on a cell phone, or by sending an email to RangerHotline@dnr.state.ga.us   Those reporting should try to obtain the following information: the type of violation, a description of the violator, description of the violator’s vehicle, and the date, time and location of the violation.

Georgia DNR Wildlife News

Other useful links:
Amicalola Deer Park in Dawsonville, North Georgia 

Tweet on this timeline using #Georgia #deer

Tweets about Georgia Deer


Tweets about Georgia Dept. of Wildlife